The Saga of Sticky.

It’s incredible what comes to life for kids. Stuffed animals have long and complex stories, dolls have personalities on par with stars of daytime soap operas, and favorite blankets can get their feelings hurt by the mere mention of the words “washing machine.”

Still, even with all that, I wasn’t prepared for Sticky.

It started with what had been the rejected tube of toothpaste, the “too spicy!” toothpaste that I had tossed back in the drawer months ago. But that night we were completely out of the preferred toothpaste. My number one rule: desperate times call for creative re-marketing.

As I pulled off the cap on the new “cool” big girl toothpaste, I peeled off something somewhat pliable and sticky at the same time – the little bit of blue toddler toothpaste that had dried in the cap of the tube. About the size of a playground pebble, it had the consistency somewhere between dried chewing gum and fresh playdoh.

Mireya, four at the time, began playing with it idly, and as we finished up getting ready for bed she carried it off.

Then she named it. Sticky was born.

Then she needed a house for it. Sticky got a plastic Ziploc bag, since we determined it didn’t breathe and therefore could be placed in a sealed bag.

Before we knew it, Sticky was a small, yet active member of the family. Sticky came to breakfast. Sticky hung out at story time. Sticky watched movies, no doubt dreading the moments when large waves of water were featured. Sticky even rode to school a few times.

Then, like all precious things of childhood, Sticky got lost.

“STICKY!” Mireya cried out. “I can’t find Sticky!”

Sticky was indeed gone. We searched everywhere, even tried to recreate a sort of “Son of Sticky” by leaving out some beads of toothpaste to dry for a few hours.

“It smears,” said Mireya with disgust, blue streaks appearing on the bathroom counter. “It’s not Sticky.”

Then, in a miracle only partially explained by the rarely performed act of “cleaning our room,” Sticky reappeared from under the bed.

Sticky was resting, I was told.

Someday Sticky will be really lost, lost to a world where stuffed animals turn into inanimate objects and dried toothpaste is just trash.

But for now, I love that little bit of blue.

Long live Sticky.